Friday, April 19, 2013

For The Night Is Dark Anthology: "This Darkness..."

For The Night Is Dark is the first anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing.  It's a stellar collection, at least what I've read so far.  (Carole Johnstone's "21 Brooklands: Next To Old Western, Opposite The Burnt Out Red Lion" even seems a cousin to my story, "This Darkness," as channeled through a Rob Zombie mindset or...something like that, haha...)  I am waiting for my print copy to show up to continue reading it, because hey, yeah, that's right: print books still remain my fave way to read. 

Here's a lil' guest post I did at Armand Rosamilia's blog, dealing with my story.  He is in the anthology and has been featuring guest blogs by other contributors on his blog.  Really good, amusing, informative stuff.  Check them all out.

Here's the Amazon link which has an abundance of "Look Inside" samples to whet your horror loving appetite:

But...a bit more of a teaser to sink you into the true darkness that envelops "This Darkness."  Here's Sue Chambers, fed up and had it with her guy, Andy, up on the mountain, their friend, Mitch, in the back seat (as noted in the guest blog above; read that, put it together with this, and away we go), just before all Hell breaks loose; or all dread, more so, dread... No wait, Hell does follow up...


     Before Andy spoke, Susie sensed his anxiety bristling in the air.  He sucked in deeply and the inside of the car seemed to contract ever so slightly.

     “Look.  I’m sorry, baby.   I really…”  But he fell silent, his thoughts clustered as one, and, as usual, he was speaking before he’d sorted them out.

     Susie remained silent, ignoring him. 

     “I don’t mean no harm, y’know?  I just…I don’t really know what to do with it all sometimes.  Us and everything, y’know?”

     She turned her head to the window, gazing deep into the black nothing outside.

     “Hey, I’m tryin’ to say somethin’ here.”

     She just wanted it all to stop.  Please, just stop.

     “Goddamnit!” Andy said, jamming his foot on the brakes, cutting off the lights, the engine, everything.

     “Hey,” Mitch said, that Chihuahua yelp again using his throat for expression.

     Susie kicked at the door, hand scrambling for the handle, saying “Fuck you!  Fuck you!  Fuck all of this!” as she did.  Frustration poured over her like an angry waterfall.  She finally got the door open, shoving with force as she did.  The dome light splashed meager luminosity across the interior, which she was hastily exiting.  As the metal joints stretched to the breaking point, the door creaked and popped with firecracker intensity.  She stepped out and the door started its path back to being shut in a hurry.  But just as suddenly, she regretted being outside of the car and in this darkness, though she also did not want to lose any more brain cells by being within hooting distance of Heckle and Jeckle; her exasperation only magnified the situation.  As she twirled back toward the door, everything shifted down a notch, slowing as seconds stretched.  She heard Andy say, “What the hell is that?” while the light weaved ugly, perplexing patterns into the crinkled folds of Mitch’s face, forming a landscape for an undiscovered planet in the process, both of them staring out the windshield, not even caring about her annoyance.  The look in their eyes caused her to shift her gaze from them to whatever might be in front of the car, a seemingly impossible quest because of this darkness--              

     --when she felt its presence…

     Reaching for the swiftly closing door, she was too late.  It clicked shut and the feeble dome light was eaten by the voracious darkness and a scream climbed the broken rungs of her throat, yet as if sound was in cahoots with this darkness, she heard nothing.

     A vacuum of terror pressed against her as she ached for the aural confirmation she knew she had expressed, yet where was it?  More so, she sensed the silence was so very internal, though distinguishing blood currents and heart beats was beyond her capabilities.  She felt adrift, yet she also felt compressed, as if this darkness wasn’t only pressing into her, it was invading pores, seeking organs, essence.  

     She reached for the door handle, anxious to fling herself back into the car and just deal with them, to yell at Andy to get them the hell out of there, not caring about being made fun of or anything but being away.  Real decisions would happen soon enough, but right now she just needed the safety of noise and lights and being so far from this darkness. 

     Her efforts fell flat: there was no door handle.

     She let out a brittle, “Fuck,” that landed on black cotton stuffed ears.  She couldn’t see the handle, only knew the approximate direction, yet her fingers remained unfilled.  Both hands now, her lithe body stepping forward, her hip should be banging into metal, but nothing impeded her movement.

     There was nothing there.  No car.  No Andy and Mitch joking away.  No light, no sound, only this darkness.


What the...?   What in the world is going on?   You gotta pick up the anthology to find out.  You will find out the well as get more fantastic fiction from a plethora of writers (Gary McMahon, Jeremy Shipp, Tonia Brown, William Meikle, Scott Nicholson, and many more) who really know and understand...the Dark.


Here's the eye-catching artwork from Ben Baldwin.


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